What I Learned When My Ex-Husband Walked Out On My Son And Me
I am 29 years old; I have a 1-year-old, and I am about to be officially divorced.
There are so many times when I wish I could find just the right words, or do just the right thing to make someone feel better.
If only I had the words that could cure a broken heart, or the money to give a friend when he or she needs it most. If only I had a fast-forward button to get through the pain in life.
If only I could find the exact cure for my broken marriage.
The truth is, there is no cure-all. Life hurts, and new normals happen every single day. It's just the way the world works. Now, more than ever, I am learning it is all about how you talk to yourself and the choices you make based on your circumstances.
One of my biggest fears in life happened: My husband left two weeks before my son's first birthday.
It was out of the blue, and devastating cannot even begin to describe what I felt and continue to feel at certain moments throughout the day.
It also happened to be three weeks before our fourth wedding anniversary.
Because of the suddenness, I am still recovering from the shock. I think he is too, in a way. For weeks, we didn't talk. And then, five weeks after he left, the papers came.
The papers came the day after we finally started talking about what went wrong.
None of this made sense. We loved each other. We were happy. We were educated, and we communicated. We had good jobs, a beautiful house and the most precious little boy we could have ever dreamed of.
My husband even encouraged me to quit my teaching job so I could stay home with our son. Our new normal was just beginning. I thought we were both excited at the possibilities.
But my husband obviously wasn't happy. Without communicating to me, in what felt like a split-second decision, he decided he didn't want this life anymore.
I thought having a baby would be one of the biggest life changes, and in a way, it was.
But then, when your marriage suddenly falls apart and you are trying to figure out your next life step, there is a whole new ball game. You literally have no idea what your tomorrow might look like.
Marriages are bound to change. I knew that when I got married. Talk to anyone who has been married for longer than five years, and he or she will tell it like it is.
Anyone who has been married will tell you marriages ebb and flow. It's the way we were designed; it's the very essence of marriage. You live and grow together, but sometimes, you grow apart.
Sometimes it just blows up, and you are left wondering what just happened.
Whatever the reason may be, unfortunately, marriages do end. Marriages are also put on pause.
And when you are at the point where yours may be ending, it is hard to know what your new life might look like. You live in a state of uncertainty and confusion.
It's the strangest feeling; you want desperately for the final decision to be made, but you also don't want to rush anything. You want to hold on to hope and a miracle.
Ending a marriage is like trying to survive an avalanche. The rocks keep falling, and you just don't know how to dodge the blows. It is hard to know if and where you will land safely.
So, how on earth are you supposed to live like this? How are you supposed to survive? Well, one moment at a time.
I have had no choice but to keep moving forward.
Didn't Newton say something like, "An object in motion stays in motion?" Of course, that is so much easier said than done.
That's just the way life works sometimes, right?
Believe it or not, our bodies will keep on living. My body will actually breathe without me having to think too much about it. And right now, you better believe I don't want to have to think too much.
In the beginning, I just wanted to survive. But now, as the divorce papers are being finalized, now, I want to thrive.
I have figured out I do need to feel the feelings, but try not to dwell on the negative ones too much. I need to talk, write and process, but only when I feel the need to do so.
Forcing the feelings does not help.
I have learned the most important thing is to take care of myself and my son, so I have started simple.
First, I made sure we are eating, exercising and sleeping. Then, I added in something new, like accepting help from friends and family. And, slowly, I added in routine.
Laughter came around the second week. And we all know that laughter is so good for the soul.
Then I added in a trip. When my divorce papers came, my son and I were in Hawaii. My mom had just moved, and with airline points, I was able to get out of my head and travel.
Traveling can heal your soul. Traveling helps to remind me I am not alone in our vast world and it keeps on spinning.
Marriage limbo was one of the hardest places I had to live. We are programmed to make decisions and fight.
And when we have to stay patient and wait it out, well, that is ridiculously hard. But I kept getting reminded there is beauty in the waiting and beauty in the pain.
As the papers are finalized, I still have so much hope.
I hope that when my son and I are on the other side, I can look back and be proud, proud of what we endured and proud of the insight I gained about myself and my relationships.
Hopefully, I will smile because my people were right: This darkness will eventually lead to light.